International sporting goods retailer Intersport was announced as the official partner for parkrun UK from 1st January 2016, and last Saturday 23rd January saw the first event where Intersport was visible to the parkrun community and officially recognised as a partner.
Intersport UK put a stake in the ground at this first partnership event in West London, which coincided with the opening of the new Intersport store on The Broadway in Wimbledon and provided the perfect platform for a visible connection of the partnership.
More than 350 runners, joggers and walkers were lining the start line for their weekly free 5K, and after a warm welcome from the Run Director and a few words from parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt they set off around Wimbledon Common. Staff members from Intersport Wimbledon were also taking part, actively showing their support for the runners and the parkrun in their local community.
After completing parkrun the opening of Intersport Wimbledon was celebrated with General Manager of Intersport UK Tom Foley, parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt and parkrun CEO Nick Pearson as well as runners and press making their way to the new store.
A foundation video has been created celebrating the partnership and community collaboration. The video will be released in the next few weeks and will become part of a series as the connection moves across the UK and Ireland over the next year.
Intersport UK was very well received by the runners and the parkrun community, with everybody aware of the role the sporting goods retailer plays in the community, supporting grassroots sport and offering expert advise across a range of sports with a focus on running.
The three-year partnership will allow parkrun UK to continue leading the way in the provision of grassroots physical activity. Intersport’s investment will assist with the establishment of new parkrun events while supporting existing event teams, including the Run Directors and volunteers, with essential kit.
Additionally, Intersport will be providing exclusive offers to parkrun’s rapidly expanding community, which currently stands at 1.3 million registered participants who run in over 400 locations in the UK alone each weekend.
General Manager of Intersport UK, Tom Foley said: “This is an exciting partnership that we are both very proud of achieving, creating a platform of support for the continuation of provision and further growth of grassroots physical activity and the phenomenon that is parkrun. Intersport is ‘Sport to the People’ and this partnership brings our philosophy to life, supporting runners across the UK and Ireland.”
parkrun UK Founder, Paul Sinton-Hewitt added: “This is the perfect partnership and we welcome the support of parkrunners across the UK and Ireland to embrace this partnership and truly show the passion our runners have for sport, grassroots physical activity and true empowerment of ‘Sport to the People’ that our community represents.”